Doing the Right Thing

Originally published on 10/9/2014

Our State Treasurer, Denise Nappier, who is seeking re-election on November 4th, has made financial decisions to protect CT’s families by managing sales of bonds to get the best deal for taxpayers, overseeing cash flow and smartly investing pension funds.  The significant financial achievements of the Treasurer’s office under her leadership range from market value increases in the Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds totaling $19.6 billion, which was inclusive of paying out $10 billion in benefit payments and a net increase in assets of $9.6 billion, to putting the Teacher’s Retirement system on solid financial footing through the sale of pension obligation bonds which require the state to fully fund its share (after under-funding teacher’s pensions for years). She has aggressively pursued recoveries in securities fraud litigation and class action suits, collecting over $1B for CT, and managed the state’s bonding program to achieve savings of $837 million for taxpayers.

For me, there is one other non-financial but moral use of financial clout and influence Denise has used on our behalf which bears praise.

Denise filed a shareholder resolution with Alliant Techsystems, Inc. that calls for the company to report on actions it has taken with respect to the Sandy Hook Principles, a set of measures aimed at curbing gun violence. The Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds (“CRPTF”) joined with New York State Common Retirement Fund in filing the resolution.

“As a shareholder of Alliant, I call on the company to acknowledge and address the public safety issues arising from the misuse of guns and ammunition, and thereby lessen potential risk to investor value,” Treasurer Nappier said.

Alliant Techsystems, through its Sporting Group division, manufactures and sells firearms and accessories for hunting, shooting and outdoor markets as well as sporting, law enforcement and military ammunition. The company has yet to respond to a September 2013 request from Treasurer Nappier to discuss the Sandy Hook Principles, leading to the filing of the shareholder resolution. It’s important to citizens to know where they stand.

Denise Nappier took this action out of concern for public safety and for CT families, not because she has to, but because it is the right thing to do. And because as our Treasurer, she can and will fight for CT families.

Leaders like Nappier who hold others accountable, get results and improve the current and future lives of CT’s citizens are admirable.  It’s time to remember her at the voting booth with a vote to re-elect Denise Nappier as State Treasurer on November 4th.

Susan D. Cocco is Chair of the Ridegfield Democratic Town Committee, which supplies this column.